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Thread: My holdfast won't hold

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Herndon VA
    Posts
    180

    My holdfast won't hold

    I just drilled the front row dog holes for my bench. I went to test them and put a Gramercy holdfast in and gave it a really good whack with my mallet and the piece of wood that was being held slipped pretty easily. All holes are drilled with a 3/4" spiral upcut and are .75" based on my calipers. Any tricks to getting these to hold?

    http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/M...tegory_Code=TL

    Other than that, the bench is really coming along. Next on the list is to cut the vise dog holes and the back row. Then its time for a finish sanding/planing and some finish. For the finish I was going to use BLO and mineral spirits. I'm not sure if I want a little poly in the brew as well. I did that for the base and it feels pretty good.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    I used thinned BLO as you describe. The poly will dry hard and be prone to cracking, chipping or scratching as I understand but I have no direct experience. The BLO has worked well for me. I'm also no help on the hold down as I don't have any. I must just be posting to hear myself type ;-)
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    23
    I found that after lightly sanding the shafts of the holdfasts with 120 grit they held well. By "lightly", I mean that I probably spent 10 seconds on each one. Hope this helps
    ---------------------------
    Chip Hamblin
    Rochester, NY / Dwight, ON
    FWW Registered Voter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    Mike, How thick is your top?

    I had some trouble on really thick tops in the past. Over 4" seems to take quite a beating to get it to seat.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Odessa, Tx
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    1,813
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Beam View Post
    Mike, How thick is your top?

    I had some trouble on really thick tops in the past. Over 4" seems to take quite a beating to get it to seat.
    I seem to remember an "Old Codger" telling me something about the thicker the top is, it needs to have a "SLIGHTLY" larger hole than a thin top to get them to hold, since the holdfast cocks off of vertical and binds on one side of the hole at the top and at the opposite side of the hole at the bottom. With the THICK top and a small hole, the holdfast can't cock sideways enough to get a grip. I think he even told me how much to increase the hole size vs thickness, but that has been over 50 years ago, and "for some reason", I can't seem to remember "Details" very good.

    As a suggestion, you might try drilling a hole in a large scrap that was 2 to 3 inches thick and then tapping the hold fast in and see if it would hold a piece of wood satisfactorily and if so, then remove the holdfast and put it in a fresh hole in that same scrap wqithout tapping it in, and measure the angle from vertical, then make a hole in your top, sized so that it would give you the same angle and it whould work properly then.

    let us know how it works out.
    Last edited by Norman Hitt; 12-01-2007 at 04:50 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
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    3,134
    From Tools for woodworking's site

    "Note: we have discovered that while the holdfasts work great they will work even better and in more benches if you just rub a little 150 or 220 sandpaper around the stems (not up and down, round and round)"
    .
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    11,833
    That is an unusual design for hold fasts. Not that it's bad but it is a departure from the traditional styles I have seen. Another difference I see is the smooth steel. Mine are Jorgensens and a more traditional style with a shorter arm than yours. And, they are cast. Meaning the iron (steel?) is rough. That might be a reason why they hold better. Dunno just kinda guessing. I put a leather pad on. Helps hold and doesn't mar the wood.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails hold fast.jpg  
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Herndon VA
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    The top is 2 1/4" thick.

    I'll try sanding them with 120 and see how that works out. Worse comes to worse I'll get a Veratas adjustable hold fast. You can never have too many tools!

  9. #9
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    Jan 2007
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    My top's 2 1/4" thick, too - i haven't drilled holes in it yet so I'm really hoping roughing them up helps you!! Good luck and let us know how it comes out!
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Herndon VA
    Posts
    180
    Success!

    I used some 120 on the shafts (sanding horizontally) and they hold 10 times better!

    Thanks everyone!

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